You may or may not have noticed that I have been away from my blog for a while and really not keeping you guys updated, which is a little bit naughty and I apologise. I guess sometimes life gets in the way and I guess sometimes, horrible, enthusiasm sucking bouts of laryngitis get in the way. I have been ill for a couple of weeks and that’s a sort of excuse and prior to that I was so busy snuggling up to winter and becoming better acquainted with my sofa that I kind of couldn’t drag myself to my bony computer chair. I know, I know, lame excuses. Forgive me, lets move on.
And so, after many, many days when I was confined to the house and confined to my bed, I was ridiculously hungry and twitching to get back in the kitchen. There was a day, I can’t remember when, in the midst of my sickness when I was so determined to cook, to try to feel normal that I hobbled and coughed my way around the kitchen to make a mushroom stew with lentils and bacon which sounded so promising and was so disappointing that I nearly cried. I don’t know what was worse, Mr T having to witness me; a poor excuse for a living being, fumbling my way round the stove or the dish of bland, boo hoo mushroom stodge which he had to endure for dinner. It was a tough couple of weeks for both of us.
Anyway, I digress. I was going to tell you about my ‘coming out’. After too many days with no sunlight in my life, I was finally feeling better again and enthusiastic about a trip to the outside world. I awoke to the sound of squally rain hammering down on the roof, I considered getting out of bed but being that it was persisting down, I thought it was a much better idea to roll over and enjoy my book; I’m terribly clever. So, after much lolling around in bed, I got up, smothered my poor chafed face in about three metres of make up and prepared to face the world.
Mr T’s Mummy is visiting at the moment so that’s definitely livening the place up a bit. So, the grand plan was that we would pick Mr T up from work, he finishes early on Fridays and head off to a local winery for a spot of lunch and a glass or two of wine. It was raining as we drove there, it was raining as we walked in and it was raining as we left. This is the story of our lives in winter. Our destination was Hayshed Hill, which is a wonderful place which I now hold especially close to my heart as my dear friend was married there not too long ago. I must, as this point say, that I only blog about local restaurants when I have enjoyed the experience. It’s kind of necessary to be discreet when you live in a small town and work in the industry.
We had a look at the menu, (I already knew what I wanted) and decided to share a couple of pizzas and a salad. The salad arrived first and barely lasted ten seconds on the table. It was a classic combination, poached pear, blue cheese and walnuts. But it was a classic, executed thoughtfully, which elevated it to something truly lovely. The spiced pears were perfectly poached, the blue cheese was salty and funky and the walnuts were candied, which meant it had that sweet and salty combination which I adore. Scattered with rough torn herbs, which added a light note to the dish; it was near perfect.
And then my pizza arrived and I don’t remember much after that as I was in a carbohydrate induced fug of pleasure. I was torn between enjoying the really fine chardonnay,the view of sheets of rain careering over the vines in the distance and the pizza. There was a lot of pleasure to languish in and I think I was in sensory overload after many days of house arrest but it was a good kind of overload. My pizza with prawns, baby capers and chilli was well seasoned and again, (it’s all in the detail) the prawns were just cooked, moist and plump and sitting oh so proud on their crispy base. We had also ordered a basic mozzarella, basil and tomato pizza which was also really well done, the only minor, minor gripe was that the base could have been a little more crispy but that is personal preference.
Somehow, I found room for a big glass of hot chocolate, which rounded off a delightful day. The tiny glimpse of sun I saw seemed to shine a little brighter, the wind seemed a tiny bit warmer in the afterglow of a good lunch, with close family and a couple of glasses of vino blanco. After all that, I would happily hibernate for a few weeks, as long as I get a meal like that at the end of it. It’s good to be back.